Best Buy’s application to buy its new headquarters is now officially in the hands of the U.S. government, but the decision could be reversed if a court decides the company can’t prove the $4.4 billion deal will be beneficial to the local community.
The city is seeking to stop the deal because it says Best Buy has not provided a plan for improving its neighborhoods and jobs.
“There’s no evidence that Best Buy is actually doing that.
The company has not done anything for the community,” said city attorney Richard S. Fisch, who has been pushing the case for more than a year.
The lawsuit has been in the works for months.
The U.K.-based company has faced criticism in the U, where a judge in April denied a bid to block the deal after the company admitted it had misled investors about the economic impact of the move.
The New York case is similar, but is focused on the U., which has rejected similar bids in the past.
The federal government is trying to force the U.-based retailer to help fund a revitalization project in the East Village.
Fisch says that in an effort to save the East, Best Buy plans to open up its stores to tenants from other boroughs, but some residents say the company’s strategy to make the East its headquarters is the wrong way to go.
“I think it’s a bad idea,” said Ken Zimbalist, president of the East Side Neighborhood Association.
“I think they’re going to make it the best headquarters they can possibly make it.
I don’t think they have a good idea.”
Fisch said that in addition to the costs associated with relocating to the East in 2020, the plan would result in more jobs in the area.
Best Buy had initially agreed to build a $1 billion convention center, but its plan for the project was later amended to require more affordable housing.
Fischer said the East-side residents’ concerns are valid.
“We do believe the best outcome is to move forward with this, and we’re looking forward to a fair and expeditious process,” he said.